The operations of Transfera in the period behind us has been marked by a stable growth and organizational development. As Srdjan Banovic, Chief Customs Service Officer at Transfera, says for eKapija, since the very beginning, Transfera has put a lot of effort in forming a flexible organization consisting of people motivated to enhance the quality of services every day.
– The growth is the result of those efforts. The development in the organizational aspect is there to provide a stable basis for the company's further expansion – Banovic pointed out.
eKapija: What have the company's business results been in 2019?
– For Transfera, this has been a record-breaking year. There are more than 210 employees at the company today, the number of branches in Serbia has increased by another three offices, and the financial indicators put it among the first three logistics companies in the Serbian market. Many projects have been launched with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Primarily, these are projects which pertain to the digitization of our business processes and the Transfera Academy, as an important project of developing the potentials of the employees. Also, this year, Transfera presented for the first time at the Munich logistics fair, the most important event of its kind in Europe.
eKapija: What is the secret of the company's successful operations, considering that it is growing year by year?
– The company's strategic orientation is toward having minimum investments in advertising and promoting its services through traditional marketing channels. In that sense, we rely on the “word of mouth” marketing, which requires us to be a company which provides added value to clients at every moment. Practically, this means that we will respond to the client's request, whether it is sent during our working hours or not, that we will offer a range of options for solving the challenges put before us by the client and that we will make the client feel secure by realizing our integrated logistics services. A client which makes the right choice never keeps it a secret, which means that Transfera substantially expands its pool of clients each year.
eKapija: Which services do you provide to your clients? In which cities in Serbia are you present?
– Within its operating sectors, Transfera provides the services of road, air and boat transport of goods, customs representation, storage and handling services, as well as goods distribution services. A combination of two or more logistics operations leads to what we call an integrated service, which is the most frequently chosen option. Transfera's orientation to clients means that we are required to create the service in line with the specific demands of the client and to be present where our clients are. For that reason, Transfera is present from Odzaci in the north, to Nis in the south of the country, with offices in Belgrade, Sremska Mitrovica, Kragujevac, Sabac, Novi Sad, Celarevo and Loznica.
eKapija: What is the state of the logistics market in Serbia at the moment? What sets Transfera apart from the competition?
– The accelerated development of technologies enables companies to be more adaptable when it comes to client demands and finding new, quicker ways of communication to the end of the realization of services. As communication is the basis in building Transfera's relation with its clients, the company started basing its organization on Front Office and Back Office several years ago. The Client Service sector, as the carrier of the Front Office service, is Transfera's interface toward the client and the place where the client is informed of the status of the shipment, gets advice as to the optimal logistics service and transfers the demands to Transfera's operating sectors. This approach has shown to be remarkably influential on improving the user experience at Transfera. Also, it has shown that, from the angle of a potential client, the deciding factor in choosing a logistics provider is not the infrastructure, but the amount of attention the client feels they've been given. In that segment, Transfera is looking to maintain its advantage over the competition.
eKapija: The development of technology has had an impact on all industries, logistics included. How much has the provision of logistics services changed and in what way does Transfera respond to the challenges of the modern era?
– If you look at the topics of logistics conferences in the past few years, you will notice that one of the most present topics is digitization. Transfera started the project called Transfera2020 three years ago. This project aims to map and fully transfer business activities and operations of the company to a digital environment. This primarily pertains to the development of a specialized software solution which follows the operations and, through a simple and quick display of financial indicators, helps the management in reaching strategic decisions. The software is a framework which encompasses specialized modules in the segments of transport, customs representation, but also WMS and CRM modules adapted to the specific demands of Transfera's operations. The Transfera2020 project is entering the final phase of testing and full implementation, and we are turning toward a further development of the portals, which will facilitate the communication with the client, as an app which will enable a precise following of a shipment from the moment of taking to the delivery.
eKapija: You have also launched the Transfera Academy. Can you tell us more about that project? What was the goal of launching the academy?
– This project was initiated in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). During the visit of the EBRD delegation, led by Vice President Pierre Heilbronn, to Transfera in 2017, most attention was drawn by this initiative, which has three target groups – new employees, current employees and talented young people. Special education programs were developed, consisting of specialized lectures in all fields in which Transfera operates, foreign language courses, projects of development of specific logistics solutions, exchanging experiences with internal and external lecturers etc. The academy is also a formalization of Transfera's efforts to motivate its employees to keep developing professionally and find the place within the organization where they will give their best performance. The participants then have a clear idea of what's expected of them and how they can develop their skills. This is a thing of remarkable importance for the company when it comes to its further development.
eKapija: You are also very active when it comes to humanitarian activities. Can you tell us something more about this?
– Almost since its founding, Transfera has tried to help all the humanitarian initiatives which focus on children. Simply, these activities come from the joint desire of all the employees to help those who most need it. The donation is not always financial or material. Sometimes, it takes the form of an all-day event, such as the traditional sports match between the teams of Transfera and the children from the Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj Home, who emphasize that attention is the most important gift for them. Renovation of kindergartens, hospitals, support in organizing the Dragan Mance memorial football tournament, cooperation with the Novak Djokovic Foundation and art projects such as Nebeska Tema, a documentary about Vlada Divljan – Transfera is always there to help and support what's important.
eKapija: What are the company's plans for the upcoming period?
– Transfera's aims remain unchanged. In the upcoming year, we will continue working on standardizing and strengthening the organizational structure. HR development remains the company's first priority, with a focus on the development and implementation of technological solutions. By staying on this course, we believe that Transfera will continue growing in 2020.